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Duomo Santa Maria Assunta
The Cathedral of Pisa is located in the center of the Campo dei Miracoli . The medieval Cathedral has the shape of a basilica five arches and is dedicated to Mary
The construction began in 1064, under the supervision of the architect Buscheto, his tomb is built into the leftmost arch of the facade, after the death of Buscheto , Rainaldo took over the Duomo was funded with the loot that the Pisans had won when they defeated the Saracens
The building had to show how rich and powerful Pisa was, the floor plan of the church is a Latin cross
The Duomo is a wonderful example of the Pisan - Romanesque style, the interior is lined with black and white marble, in 1595 , after a violent fire , most of the medieval art destroyed, the mosaic in the apse , Christ in Majesty , is a relic from 1302, the magnificent pulpit from 1302, also survived the fire , is a masterpiece of Giovanni Pisano
This chair you see nine scenes from the New Testament , of white marble carved with chiaroscuro effect
The Cathedral is also the mummified body of Ranieri , the patron saint of Pisa and the tomb of the Roman emperor Henry VII
The Pulpit of the Duomo
The pulpit of the Duomo is the most important piece of sculpture in the church, It is the work of Giovanni Pisano done between 1302 and 1311. He was the son of Nicola who created the pulpit of the Baptistry. The sculpture was dismantled in 1599 after a fire in the church. The sculpture was only reconstructed in 1926. It is remarkable that such a fine work could be considered to be worthless for so long.
- Family Travel
Inside the Duomo
The cathedral is probably the longest one started in the 11th century. The Duomo was started in 1063 and is almost 100 meters long. This first medieval church laid out in the shape of a cross. It is also extremely wide (48 ft) with a nave and 4 aisles, a plan not used since early Christian times. The nave is lined by 68 granite columns, almost all with Corinthian capitals. There are galleries above the aisles and along the transepts with apses at the ends of each transept as well as at the east end of the church. There are only small clerestory windows above.
- Family Travel
An Unusually Wide Grassy Field
Nowhere else in Europe have we seen such broadly spaced set of four religious buildings. At its center of a grassy field sits the west end of the 100 meter long Duomo with one of the first examples of a triple set of entry doors. In spite of this, the real entrance is by the south transept, via a bronze set by Bonanno Pisano in 1186. The other bronze doors were destroyed in a fire in1595 and were redone in 1602 by the workshop of Giambologna. The lower half of the west facade is topped by a set of seven very tall blind arcades, with the similar arcades continuing around the entire building.The upper half of the facade is graced by four levels of decreasingly long galleries of marble columns in typical Pisan style. Above the galleries are three statues, the central one done by yet another Pisano named Andrea.
- Family Travel
The Cathedral in Cathedral Square is amazing. Just to look at the intricate carvings on the outside of the building will take time to absorb the beauty.
Inside, the Cathedral is beautiful and deserves your time to enjoy.
The heart of the Piazza del Duomo is the Duomo, the medieval cathedral, entitled to Santa Maria Assunta (St. Mary of the Assumption). This is a five-naved cathedral with a three-naved transept.
Construction was begun in 1064 by the architect Busketo, and set the model for the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style of architecture. The mosaics of the interior, as well as the pointed arches, show a strong Byzantine influence.
The façade, of grey marble and white stone set with discs of coloured marble, was built by a master named Rainaldo, as indicated by an inscription above the middle door: Rainaldus prudens operator.
From November to February 10:00-13:00/15.00-17.00; March 10:00-18:00 (until 13/3) 10:00-19:00 (until 20/3) 10:00-20:00 (from 21/3); from April to September 10:00-20:00; October 10:00-19:00
The entrance is allowed 30 minutes before closing time. On holidays the Cathedral opens at 13:00.
Mass hours: Weekdays 8:00, 9:30; Sunday 8:00, 9:30, 11:00
School groups: 1,00 euro
Entry is free from 1 November to 1 March
For further information:
Tel: +39 050 560547/561820
Fax: +39 050 560505
You can watch my 3 min 41 sec Video Pisa Dome out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
- Historical Travel
Campo dei Miracoli - Portale di San Ranieri
%Would be almost funny if such an magnificent church has ordinary door. This massive main bronze door were made in the workshops of Giambologna, replacing the original doors destroyed in fire. The central door was in bronze and made by Bonanno Pisano while the other two were in wood. The bronze reliefs on the doors displaying the scenes from the Bible."
Campo dei Miracoli - inside of the Duomo
The cathedral has a five-naved plan with a three-naved transept. The interior is faced with black and white marble, frescoed dome and has a gilded ceiling carrying the coat of arms of the Medici. The magnificent carved pulpit was made by Nicolo's Pisano son Giovanni and it represents one of the masterworks of medieval sculpture.
The cathedral contains the bones of Saint Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa and the tomb of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII, carved by Tino da Camaino. The tomb was disassembled and changed position many times during the years for political reasons.
Campo dei Miracoli - Duomo
The construction of magnificent Pisan Duomo was begun in 1063 by great local architect Buscheto, and consecrated in 1118 by Pope Gelasius II. After the death of its initiator, however, the construction suffered a set-back. The facade was built by architect Reinaldo, successor to Buscheto, and Master Guglielmo, who also sculpted the first pulpit in the Duomo.
It is possible to see the presence of many different styles in the architecture of the building like; Arab and Byzantine elements, classical and Lombard forms and cultural traditions of Tuscany, giving life to the one of the most original creations of Italian Romanesque style.
- Family Travel
The Duomo, Santa Maria Assunta
This is the amazing cathedral next to the leaning tower of Pisa. The interior is spectacular with frescoes and detailed architecture. Even the bronze doors are beautiful. Next to the cathedral is a smaller round Romanesque building. That is the Baptistery, dedicated to St. John, the Baptist. It is the largest baptistery in Italy. A "must see" if you are in Pisa.
Please see my travelogue for more photos of the church!
- Historical Travel
Look for the small details
The Duomo may be hugely impressive, but do take the time to walk around its exterior.
Look carefully at its lower stones. You will not only see ancient inscriptions relating to those who are buried nearby, and some ancient graffiti, but also re-used Roman stonework, its inscriptions always inverted to show the dominance of the Christian church over 'pagan' Rome.
And check the high-up windows too, because there is some lovely and intricate marble mosaic-work to be seen.
Always look closely...you never know what you'll see !
See my 'small details' tip for the Tower as well.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
The Cathedral was the 1st building here, planned by Buschetto di Giovanni and built almost a century before its Campanile.
It’s dedicated to the Virgin.
The Cathedral houses several masterpieces, including the mosaics of Christ with the Virgin and the Baptist, the work of Cimabue and Lapo, and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano.
Inside, there used to be a huge bronze incense burner that helped Galileo formulate the theory of the movement of the pendulum.
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
Next stop: A temple of snow-white marble
When its construction began in 1064, the goal of its architects was that the new cathedral of Pisa should reflect the city's power and glory. At that time, Pisa was indeed one of the most powerful cities in Italy, and the treasures conquered by defeating other rival cities were either included in the design or provided the funds necessary to the construction of the new Romanesque-style cathedral. Covered in white and light grey marble, Pisa's duomo has been described as "a temple of snow-white marble". Its remarkable facade also shows a touch of Byzantine influence in its design.
Although some of the cathedral's original art work was destroyed in the 1595 fire, one of the elements that did survive is the beautiful mosaic fresco above the main altar, the work of Cimabue (he died in Pisa while working on the mosaic) and his students. The dome painted by Riminaldi with a scene depicting the ascension of the Virgin is also quite impressive. Giovanni Pisano's richly carved pulpit is another one of the cathedral's must-see features. And the good news is that if paying 15 Euros to go up the leaning tower sounds a bit excessive, at least there's a combined ticket available for 10 Euros that allows you to visit the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and two museums - you definitely get your money's worth with that one!
- Religious Travel
il Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta
Dedicated to Saint Mary of the Assumption, the Cathedral of Pisa is a masterpiece of Pisan Romanesque architecture. Construction began in 1064 by the architect known as Buscheto, to whom the signature Pisan style is attributed. In his design, he harmoniously combined a variety of styles, including Classical, Romanesque, Lombardian, Byzantine and most notably Arab/Islamic. Pisa had extensive commercial contacts and military battles with the Arabs, and each returning fleet brought back ideas, treasures and materials that played a prominent part in the construction of the magnificent cathedral. In fact, the gold treasure looted from the Arabs in Palermo, when Pisa triumphed in battle, financed the construction of this very lavish cathedral, while an Islamic bronze griffon sculpture crowned its eastern façade. Furthermore, Arab influences in the design are also seen in the geometric motifs in polychrome marble around the exterior of the cathedral and are also clearly evidenced in its interior (see next tip). In the 12th century, the architect Rainaldo extended the Cathedral's nave and added the existing façade, which echoes Byzantine influences. Other notable architects and sculptors continued to adorn the cathedral for the next centuries, particularly after 1595, when a fire destroyed parts of the interior.
For more photos of this architectural marvel, take a look at the travelogues: "la Cattedrale di Pisa" and "la Cattedrale di Pisa - Details."
il Duomo - Interior
If its exterior were not impressive enough, the interior of the Cathedral of Pisa would certainly emphasise the magnificence of this masterpiece of Pisan architecture. Unlike the rather plain interior of the Baptistry, il Duomo is embellished with countless treasures, added over several centuries. Initially in the 11th century, it was built on a Greek cross plan, a clear Byzantine influence, but a 12th century expansion by the architect Rainaldo extended the central nave to give it an overall Latin cross plan. Its five naves are separated by rows of majestic Classical Corinthian columns extracted from the Grand Mosque of Palermo after Pisa defeated the Arabs in Sicily, whereas its arches make extensive use of ablaq, the alternating black and white stripes characteristic of Moorish architecture and highly reminiscent of la Mezquita of Còrdoba. The richly carved 13th century marble pulpit was the work of Giovanni Pisano, who was inspired by the similar one in the Baptistry, created by his father Nicola Pisano decades earlier. The mosaics in the rounded apse were created in 1302 by the artist Cimabue, and the paintings behind the altar were painted by renowned Tuscan artists in the 16th and 17th centuries. The coffered gilded ceiling was added by the Medici family (hence their coat of arms) following the destructive fire in 1595, as were the impressive bronze doors, carved by Giambologna. The dome received its frescoes in the early 17th century by the brothers Orazio and Girolamo Riminaldi. With all of its art and beauty, the interior of la Cattedrale di Pisa merits an unhurried visit in which each treasure is fully admired.
For details of the interior, take a look at the travelogue: "Cattedrale di Pisa - Interior."
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